How to Avoid Self-Incrimination

During an investigation of any kind, but especially a homicide in which you may be a suspect, you may have concerns about how you can cooperate with police without putting yourself at risk. In fact, Miranda Rights specifically state that “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” You may be dealing with grief and frustration during this time, and that can make you feel even more unsure of how to protect yourself and respond to questions if you’re a suspect in a homicide investigation.

If you’re involved in an investigation, a Tampa homicide defense lawyer with our team at The Rickman Law Firm has a few tips to help you cooperate without incriminating yourself during an investigation.

Tip 1: Utilize the Fifth Amendment

You are protected from self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Fifth Amendment provides that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” That means that if, by answering the investigator’s question, the witness could provide evidence that might aid the government in prosecuting him, then he has the right to refuse.

For many people, invoking the Fifth Amendment might be seen as taboo. After all, isn’t that an admission that something is illegal or wrong, even if it isn’t necessarily related to the homicide? The fact is that pleading the Fifth Amendment is sometimes your best protection until you have an attorney to help you navigate the investigation.

Tip 2: Contact a Tampa Homicide Defense Attorney

Arguably the most important way to protect yourself from accidental self-incrimination is to contact a Tampa homicide defense lawyer. Again, this isn’t an admission of guilt in any way. It is more of a protection for yourself.

The attorney will help you provide necessary information that may help the investigation to the police, and will help you understand how best to cooperate with law enforcement officers. Sometimes this might mean helping you locate documents that are requested or helping you understand what the investigators are asking.

Tip 3: Do Not Speak to Police Without an Attorney Present

When you’re involved in any type of investigation, be it homicide to a routine traffic violation, an attorney should be present any time you are being questioned by police. This can ensure that you understand what is being asked. Often we are feeling frazzled when being questioned — even if you are guilty of nothing, the environment you are being questioned in (or simply the act of being questioned at all) can create intense stress that might lead you to say something you don’t mean. Your attorney will be seasoned in interrogations and questioning, however, and can help keep you calm so that you understand fully each question being asked, while advising you on when you should invoke the Fifth Amendment.

To understand the best legal strategy for your case, it’s important to contact an experienced homicide defense attorney in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm. Our attorneys have experience handling cases like yours and can help you find the best legal defense.

For a free consultation with a Tampa homicide defense attorney, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.


Schedule Consultation

Case Results


The Client was charged with Driving While License Suspended or Revoked. Attorney Anthony Rickman was able to convince the State to Nolle Prosse the case.
Show More

Leaving the Scene of an Accident-Not Guilty

The Defendant was charged with leaving the scene of an accident after a vehicle belonging to her had been driven into a home. At trial, the Defense was able to show that there was no
Show More


The Client was being investigated for Battery after greeting a friend at a Super Cuts and the friend alleged that the Client touched him inappropriately. The Rickman Law Firm immediately contacted investigators and the State
Show More